And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. ~ Colossians 3:15
Isn’t that a beautiful thought? That in our inner beings we might have peace – not war, not conflict, not bitterness. And this peace is not just earthly peace – it’s the peace of Christ, who is eternal, who is utterly reliable, who will not be swayed by human tendencies or desires.
But this peace is not just in me, it is to rule my heart. This implies that this peace (and not my own self) is what governs and makes decisions. And this is all to take place in my heart – that most intimate and eternal part of myself.
We all want that kind of peace, don’t we? We want that good, beautiful, calming peace that comes from Christ.
But so often, we are ruled by other things instead:
- Worry, which chokes us, and immobilizes us (Matthew 6:25-33)
- The world, trying to squeeze us into its mold (Romans 12:1-2)
- Guilt, which chains us to our past (Philippians 3:12-14)
- Peer pressure, which elevates human opinion above God’s (Galatians 1:10)
- Fear, which clouds our vision so we can’t see our eternal victory but rather just earthly despair (Revelation 2:10)
- Our sinful desires, which seek the good of self and fail to see anyone else, leaving us lonely and empty (Philippians 3:18-20)
- Hurt, which blinds and burdens us with pain (1 Peter 4:12-13)
We want the peace of Christ, but instead we let so many other things rule in our hearts. How then do we let His peace rule? Read the previous verses:
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth…
Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.
~ Colossians 3:1-16
So, which is it – do I choose to let the peace of Christ rule in my heart and then these other good, beautiful actions follow? Or do I start doing these good things and then find the peace of Christ in my heart?
I think, dear reader, the answer is… Yes.